So how do you fix this Twins' mess? Or The more that things change...

So how do you fix this Twins' mess? Or The more that things change...

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I just stumbled upon one of the posts I wrote almost 5 years to date (5/25/2011) and I am just fascinating by how things seem to be the same with these Twins.   It was this post  and pretty much everything I said there, still stands.  Some of the faces have changed, but the story is the same.  Which is another indication that the "Total Systemic Failure" is congenital and really need to look outside the organization for a fix.

Here are some highlights from that post:

May 25th and the Twins are 14.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians, the way to climb up from that hole looks more and more slippery every day, and the light out of the tunnel is as bright as Camping's predictions about the end of the world (as we know it.) So what you do, if you are the Twins' brass to move on and start preparing for the 2012 season? And I know that throwing the 2011 season under the bus, the same way the Manager of the Millennium threw Slowey under the bus, in May is somewhat of a hubris, but I am trying to be realistic...

So, here is what I would do, if I were the Twins' owner (Dream on and Daydream Believer time: )

This team is misfiring in all cylinders, so you gotta re-build the whole engine (think Marlins' tune ups blowing up the whole thing and winning world championships.) So (starting from the top, and these things do not have to happen stimultaneously, but they have to happen before the Winter meetings next fall: )

  • Bill Smith has to go, along with the rest of the "Twins' way" (read: old school) people in the front office. This includes "special advisors", scouts in their golden years, hangovers who care more about horse racing or their personal enterprises and such (ouch). A new front office that includes a holistic player evaluation team that uses computers as well as eyes (hey, it is the 21st century, last time I checked) should be installed in place.

  • (I guess that this might come as a surprise: ) Get rid of the manager and the coaches and start fresh. Everyone who ever read my opinions here knows who I feel about the love of complacency and mediocrity by the media and fans, which embrace the current Twins' field regime, even though they have fallen short since 1991, create cronyism, favoritism and schism in the clubhouse and making lineup and game decisions based on gut feelings that are in a dire need of Pepto (yes, the pink stuff.) So a new manager should be installed, someone with fire who would not take the compliments of being second-(and third- and fourth- and fifth-) best as accolades displayed in a Fargo agricultural show, but would think that an also-ran team is a failure and install this fire to his players. Someone like him (old news that I like him and he is a former Twin.) Also get at least one hispanic coach. This team is blessed to have the pitching coach who made Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Johan Santana who there are now, but he is rotting in the minors (again, old news, sue me.) and has the manager's buddies as coaches.

  • The players. Sigh... I gotta get a tad financially sensitive here, since a bunch of ill-advised contracts were handed out, decisions on who stays and goes and who gets extended were made based on favoritism or the previously mentioned sorts and the like... Realistically, there are few players with any trade value right now (unless some of them would have a mirage-like performance before the trading deadline, which, under the current regime, would make it more likely to keep them long term - see how that Twins' vicious cycle works? Keep high, sell low.) Anyways... back to the business. I would try to trade (mind you not all at once, but up to the trading deadline) the following (and absorb some salary $; and this is quasi-sorted based on descending trade value, pending a miracle of the aforementioned sort):  
 (and I name names of certain players most of them not with the Twins right now.)

I am just totally amazed by how the more that things change with this organization, the more remain the same.   Different names, same feelings, same suggestions that Pohlad will never do.

Maybe it is time for a new owner.

The Twins sign Robbie Grossman, who is he and what can he do?

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Today the Minnesota Twins have signed OF Robbie Grossman who has opted out from his minor league deal with Cleveland.  Details on a roster spot are not out yet, but the Twins have an open spot on their 40-man roster.  

Who is Robbie Grossman?

Grossman is a lefty throwing switch-hitting outfielder, listed at 6 feet even and 215 lbs.  He was drafted by the Pirates with the second pick of the 6th round of the 2008 draft out of Cy Fair High School in Cypress TX.  He turned 26, a few months ago. In 2012, when he was ranked the 76th overall prospect in baseball by Baseball America, Grossman was the star prospect who went to Houston in the trade that brought then 33 year old and effective starter Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates for their pennant run.

Grossman was seen as part of Houston's rebuilding, and he was given opportunities to win a starting job in the majors in 2013 (63 games,) 2014 (104 games,) and 2015 (24 games.)  After last season, Grossman was not in the contending Astros' plans, was not offered arbirtation and released in November and singed with the Cardinals who had assigned him to their AAA Columbus Clippers team.  The Clippers are playing in the same league the Twins' AAA team, but they have not yet met this season, thus Grossman was not heavily scouted by the Twins.

He hit .256/.370/.453 with 6 HRs, 21 BBs and 25 Ks in 139 AAA PAs this season before he opted out and played 19 games at CF, 10 at LF and 1 at RF.  During his whole MLB and MiLB career he has played 391 games at CF, 314 at LF and 259 at RF.   How good of an outfielder is he?  In the majors he spent most of his time at LF (1018.7 innings) rated +2 with plus minus, saved 2 defensive runs and had a -0.4 UZR.   His time in CF (250.3 innings, -5 plus/minus, -7 DRS, -9.4 UZR) and RF (278.7 innings, +2 plus/minus, 6 DRS, 4.8 UZR,) are less significant but indicate an average to slightly above average corner OF who could play CF, but not that great.   The level of his Centerfield play is at or slightly below of that of Danny Santana (708.1 inn, -5 plus/minus, -3 DRS, -7.3 UZR,) who is the Twins current Centerfielder.

His career MLB slash line is .240/.327/.341, including a .143/.222/.245 2015 campaign that (along with his .254/.354/.349 AAA PCL numbers) moved him off the Astros' future plans.  He hits equally well left and right hand pitching, has moderate gap power and slightly above average speed, which does not translate into stolen base success (career 65% success rate.)

Bottom line:  I think that the Twins are seeing Grossman as an upgrade with the bat over both Danny Santana (who is hitting .250/.268/.338 in 2016 with the Twins) and Darin Mastroianni (his current backup,) and not much of a drop on the field, in the Centerfield position.  And they are probably right. He will likely get the open 40-man spot and Mastroianni's  25-man roster spot soon, performing as the Twins starting Centerfielder for the foreseeable future.

What the Twins fans have to ask themselves is whether Grossman is a Centerfielder that any competitive team would have (the Astros gave that answer last off-season) and, if not, whether the Twins are served better in the long term by giving the spot to the man who they plan to hold it for a long while, Byron Buxton.  But this is for Terry Ryan to answer.